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fear in Red Underline

by Hijinks

A/N - all capitalization, punctuation, and spelling errors are on purpose, I promise! 


Text version:


I told you I collect irrational fears like marbles in a jar
(balanced only half on the edge of my dresser, waiting to skydive off
And rattle onto the floor like all my shaking bones)
And i do. it’s easy to talk about irrational fears -
The way i can wear them like a fashionable boa scarf
that i’m always half-expecting to constrict - bright, colourful, clownish, really -
And so easy to look at. We can use them to play a game of marbles
for all i care; I’ll invite you to point fingers at them, as they roll
with groundless paranioa, and i will do the same. But i don’t tell you
about my rational fears,
Because they are not something to look at. they are a broken piggy bank    

Without the coins; what is there to say except i’m sorry you were robbed
And what is there to do except roll your eyes at the child
behind her back (while you rub circles into her back).
This is why i sweep up the shardsof a ceramic pig behind closed doors,
and This is why i never say my rational fears, the ones that start im afraid
And end i don’t know what to do. try this out for size: i’m afrid i'm wasting the best years
Of my life on hating myself. Or i’m afrad of forgetting about my friends
when we’ve all moved away and grown pu As if we’ll never mean anything
to the future. I’m afraid that i will never know were to put my energy
And i will waste it like dimes from my piggy bank just so there’s nothing left to lose
When it invariably fals apart. i’m afraid i will not invest in building a better one,
Because i will not think i deserve it. I’m afraid I spend too much time
O nfears.
i’m afrraid i don’t know what else to do.

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185 Reviews

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Reviews: 185

Sat Dec 17, 2022 5:49 am
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FireEyes wrote a review...

Heya Seirre! Incoming review!

I've been meaning to get to this work for a while, and what better time than now! I always love your use of metaphors and theme, and this work is no less special. With that let me get on to the review!

This time I'll start with my interpretation. On some levels this feels like its about toxic perfectionism. The lines like

This is why i sweep up the shards of a ceramic pig behind closed doors,

I’m afraid that i will never know were to put my energy
And i will waste it like dimes from my piggy bank just so there’s nothing left to lose
The titles gives an idea to me too. Red underlines are spelling errors, and blue ones are grammar errors. To me your title also reads as "Fear in my mistakes."

It also feels like your poem is about fear of the unknown. Particularly, the reactions of people in your life as well as the fear of fear. All in all, the quiet, almost suspenseful, fear aspect is weaved in quite well. It touches on broad aspects of fear and very specific ones at the same time without seeming like you're going in and out too much.

Now for some critique, I couldn't find much, but I found a few lines to not fit the tone.
(while you rub circles into her back).
It felt like you were backtracking here when nowhere else you did that. It can very well be weaved throughout the work more. Like someone walking into a haunted house and timidly taking a step forward while looking behind; maybe they take a step back to a place they knew they were safe.

I would comment on the capitalization, but you stated all was intentional. If I were to give one bit of feedback on this type of poetry, sometimes it gets confusing. I've done this style before a bit differently, but it still gets confusing after a while even though, I'm the one who wrote it. It's especially evident in the parts where you left out spaces. Its a totally neat idea, it can just get cluttered sometimes. I love how it goes with the theme, though. The red underlines being the fear as a metaphor work really well.

Now to praise your work! I love love love the extended metaphor of a broken piggy bank. It makes me want to wave through extended metaphors in my own works. It stitches up any loose ends as well. It gives me the image of a tiny piggy bank, broken, but trying to do his best to keep all his coins in order. Aw it makes me sad thinking about it, but its wonderfully used with the frantic idea in some lines.

Without the coins; what is there to say except i’ m sorry you were robbed
Something about this line made me sit up and go "wow." The contempt, the loss of care, the frustration. Its like how I talk to myself when I know I'm being irrational. It's so well written.

But that's all I have for today. I hope you found some of this useful! I'm a bit rusty with reviewing, but I hope it was worth your time. I can't wait to read more of your works, so keep writing, Seirre! Anyway byeeeeeeeeeee <3

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1019 Reviews

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Sun Oct 23, 2022 3:43 pm
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vampricone6783 wrote a review...

Whoa. I really liked this poem and the intentional errors. :0 It shows that the narrator isn’t thinking clearly. Their mind is in a haze of fear and desperation. And sometimes the poem gets interrupted with pleas of “I’m afraid” to show that fear will always seep through the cracks of thought. Irrational fears are more comfortable to talk about than rational ones because they are irrational. They can be paraded around, which is why many speak of them…

I wish you a lovely day/night.

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Mon Sep 19, 2022 3:48 am
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alliyah says...

A comment for the comment bonanza ~

Oh! love the contrast between rational / irrational fears as that's not one I would have really thought to explore or consider. Especially the anxiety of growing up and losing track of friends is one I think a lot of people will resonate with.

The poem reads a little "stream of consciousness" maybe in how the multiple images are laced together which I think goes with the fear motif well as the poem seems very "internal monologue" / brooding. One idea for a future spin-off maybe - > I was half expecting the words in red / blue underlines to spell out their own secret message / reveal a single statement when put together - that might be something new to add in new years.

Another nice Seirre poem tackling some imagery I haven't seen in your work before I don't think! <3 Lovely work!

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Reviews: 25

Sun Sep 11, 2022 6:30 pm
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VintageGirl wrote a review...

Hello, VintageGirl here for a quick review.

I love this poem. I relate to it so much, but I don't know how to say exactly what I feel. It stuck in my chest, and I had to sit for a little and digest it. The little grammar and spelling mistakes are perfect. It creates a little narrative about the creation of the poem. I have no idea if this is what you meant, but it gives it the effect of being written in a rush. The spelling cannot be dwelled on because it is the meaning that counts. I guess what I'm trying to say is that it feels raw. Great job! I love poems that are more than the words.

I can't think of any suggestions at the moment! This hit too close to home and was physically painful to read, but it's a good poem!

Keep writing,

Hijinks says...

Thanks for the review, VintageGirl! Raw was definitely what I was going for, so I'm glad that's how it felt to you while you were reading.

It creates a little narrative about the creation of the poem.

You're totally right about this, actually! I was having a bit of a writer's block, so I decided to set my font colour to white and just write so that I couldn't go back and edit it or try to perfect it while I was writing. The result was a lottt of typos (many of which I corrected), and I liked the effect so I decided to keep some!

Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.
— Leonardo da Vinci